Skip Navigation
Distance Learning
Home > Academics > eLearning > Course Formats > Online > ENGL Online Course Descriptions > ENGL-202 American Literature II

ENGL-202 American Literature II

The second semester of the American Literature sequence is a general survey of American Literature from  1865 to the present. The course concentrates, in part, on tracing the development of two of the major literary trends in American Literature in the 19th and 20th centuries: Realism and Naturalism. The course also focuses on the works of major 20th century writers from WWI through the 1990s.

In each period, with each author, you will be asked to determine the worldview of the individual author and the relation of that view to the larger cultural context. Consequently, you will learn the historical background information provided by the text.

ENGL 202N is the second semester of a two-semester sophomore-level American Literature sequence of courses. Note: students do not have to take both courses to receive credit for either. If students do take both courses, they may take the courses in any order.

Credits              3
Prerequisites    ENGL-121
Fees                  This course has fees totaling $30.00.
Instructor         Dr. Barbara G. Cooper
Office                 DH 231
Phone                 443-518-4851

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the major characteristics of literary realism and naturalism.
  2. Recall basic historical events, philosophical, or religious terms, and basic literary terms as provided in each unit.
  3. Summarize factual and interpretative information from the text or from class presentation. This may involve summarizing historical background information about a period, person, author, work, or literary or political movement.
  4. Synthesize the historical, political, social, and scientific influences on American Literature in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  5. Read and analyze the individual works of major American poets and fiction writers of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
  6. Relate the lives of authors to themes and styles of works studied.
  7. Evaluate the individual works of major American poets and fiction writers of the late 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
  8. Compare and contrast literary works on the basis of formal and thematic elements

Top of Page

Major Course Topics 

  • The Civil War to the First World War
  1. Poetry of the period
  2. Realism and Naturalism in fiction and poetry
  3. Regional Realism and Local Color
  4. Emerging Feminist Fiction
  5. Diaries, Autobiographies, Essays
  • The Modernist Revolution: Between the World Wars (1914-1945)
  • The Age of Uncertainty: After the Second World War (1945-Present) Contemporary Fiction

Top of Page

Course Format

  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does require on-campus meetings for a midterm exam. This test will be taken in the HCC Test Center (or at a regional test center if you are out of the area).  (For more information on taking tests, see the "Exams" section below.)
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • Although this course is an online course that does not have regular meetings apart from the test, the course content, objectives, and expectations are the same the content, objectives, expectations for an on-campus section of ENGL 202.  The big difference, of course is that you will be expected to communicate your understanding of the assignments, your thoughts, and your interpretations via written work that will be posted on the course paged in Canvas.  I will provide weekly assignments and prompt questions to which you will respond.  I and your fellow students will read and respond to your writings in various ways.

Top of Page


There is no face-to-face orientation for this class. However, orientation is included on Canvas. Check the Home page.

Top of Page

Materials Required:

Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volumes C, D, and E (packaged together) 2010

(You may use a previous edition, but the page numbers may be different.)

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Course Requirements

This is a "writing intensive" course.  What that means is that you will be graded on your ability to demonstrate course content in clear, coherent, well-organized, and grammatically correct written work.  In this course you will use writing as both a means to learn (to integrate information, reflect on what you have read, and to review what you have learned) as well as a means for evaluation (such as essays and exams).

Top of Page


The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.

If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to Dr. Barbara Cooper at

Last updated on 12-07-2012
© Howard Community College, 2012

Student Profile - Maribel